Our client was the daughter of an elderly woman who was wheelchair bound. She had retained the services of an in-home nursing care facility to provide day care services for her mother. To that end, a home healthcare provider was to go to her mother’s apartment every day, five days a week, and provide health care services for her for the entire day.
On one of that provider’s visits to the mother’s apartment, the provider knocked and/or rang the bell, but no one answered. The provider then left. This happened again the next day, the day after that, and the day after that. The health care provider did not tell anyone that no one was answering the door. Finally, on day five, the healthcare provider advised her supervisor that no one had been answering the door for the past five days.
The manager of the building was notified. Once they entered the home, they discovered our client’s mother lying on the floor in a puddle of urine. She had suffered a stroke and was barely conscious. She spent several months in the hospital where she suffered a heart attack, a loss of her leg, and numerous other ailments. She ended up passing away from her injuries.
The client came to us a year and a half after her mother’s death. Therefore, we were unable to pursue a survival claim on her mother’s behalf (Ohio statute is 1 year). We were left with only the wrongful death action (Ohio statute is 2 years). We argued that the nursing facility was liable for the death of our client’s mother, as it had a contractual duty to provide her daily care and the failure to do so resulted in her untimely death.
We were able to settle the case in the six figure range six months after making the claim.